Guilford College professor publishes book about succeeding in college
Who do you get when you cross a criminal justice professor and an author? Guilford College’s own William Pizio and his first book, “Preparing Yourself To Succeed In College.”
Pizio has been teaching for 23 years. According to his website, he was once a New York State Trooper who got his Ph.D. in criminal justice at the State University of New York at Albany, and he recently obtained a Master’s degree in cybersecurity from Utica College. He has taught at Guilford College for 19 years and was made the director of the graduate criminal justice program. According to the website, he now “qualifies for the label, ‘aging hippie.’” Pizio first got the idea to write the book when he was asked to start teaching first-year seminar classes.
“So I did that,” Pizio said. “Then I did another one and another one and found out that I really, really loved it. You meet [first-year students], and you get to watch them and help them and push them and build them. Then they end up walking across the stage at the end, and so I just love doing that.”
Guilford College noticed how much Pizio enjoyed teaching the first-year seminars, so the administration asked him to be the director of the program. He did that for a year but had to return to his department because of a death of a colleague. After returning to his regular post in 2015, Pizio started writing the book. Since then, the book was published on Nov. 29 of this year.
“I just saw a need for this kind of book, from my perspective as a professor,” he said. “It is really so much about making informed choices about what you do and learning how to do things smarter, whether [student are] looking or in college.”
On the back of the book, Pizio admits that he was a “terrible college student” his first two years. It goes on to state that high school juniors and seniors who are planning on attending college must “take charge and invest” in their future now to be a successful college student in the future. The back of the book also states that it will give students the guidance they need to thrive and succeed.
Pizio said the book elaborates on how to choose the best college suited to a person’s needs and it will provide tools for efficiency and effectiveness with academics. He said there is a chapter dedicated to students with learning disabilities, and there is even a chapter for parents to read and get a better understanding what their young adult is preparing for in college.
Pizio said the book is for two audiences: the first audience being the high school sophomore, junior or senior who plans on attending college.
“It helps them choose smartly, number one,” he said. “And number two, have them make the choices rather than the parents. A thing from the book is ‘it is not your parent’s education, it is yours.’ My extent of teaching is, half is I am teaching content, and the other half is teaching accountability and how to be an adult.”
The second audience, Pizio said, is the first-year person (in college) who want to gain academic and administrative skills to become more efficient with their academics.
“There are a good amount of books out there on how to get into college,” he said. “There are a good amount of books out there on how to succeed. Few, very few are written from a professor’s perspective, and none take both getting in and the skills to survive your first year.”
Pizio said that first-year students, as well as future college students, have abilities they are not even utilizing. With his book, he tries to tap into those abilities and explain, from a professor’s point of view, so that students can enjoy college and not be weighed down by inefficiency.
The book has 211 pages and can be purchased for $17.99 (plus $3.99 shipping costs) through his website. In addition to the book, Pizio also offers private consultations. For one hour, the cost is $35, and for five hours, the cost is $150. Pizio said he also plans to make rounds at local high schools to talk about his book. For more information, visit his website or Facebook page.
Katie Murawski is the editor of YES! Weekly. She is from Mooresville, North Carolina and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in film studies from Appalachian State University in 2017.